CULTURE

Behold: All of Missy Elliott’s Innovative MTV VMAs Looks Over the Years


KMazur

Innovator, pioneer, legend—those are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Missy Elliott, who is finally receiving the MTV Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 VMAs. Many contemporary artists credit Elliott with being the inspiration for finding the weirdness in their own work and sticking with it. She’s been showing up since ’97, often wearing one of her iconic track suits, and has been nominated 44 times at the VMAs (seven of which she won), yet she continues to make history, this time as the first female rapper to receive the esteemed Vanguard award. Throw it back with a walk down memory lane of Missy Elliott’s appearances at the MTV VMAs over the years, here.

1
Jeff Kravitz

Missy Elliott during 1997 MTV VMA Rehearsals in New York City, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

2
Jeff Kravitz

Fab Five Freddy and Missy Elliott during 1999 MTV Video Music Awards at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

3
KMazur

Missy Elliott at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

4
Kevin Kane

Missy Elliott during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards show rehearsal at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

5
KMazur

Missy Elliott during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

6
Jeff Kravitz

Missy Elliot during the post-VMA Party hosted by P. Diddy and Guy Oseary at Cipriani’s, in New York City, New York, 2002. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

7
Jeff Kravitz

Missy Elliot during 2002 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

8
Lawrence Lucier

Missy Elliot at the Stuff Magazine Pre-VMA Party, hosted By Missy Elliot and Dave Meyers, 2003. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

9
KMazur

Missy Elliott, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Madonna perform opening act at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

10
RJ Capak

Missy Elliott holds up her Best Video of the Year award at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Elliott won the award for her song ‘Work It.’ Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

11
Stephen Lovekin

Missy Elliott and Christina Aguilera during the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

12
Junko Kimura

Missy Elliott performs during the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards in Tokyo, Japan. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

13
J. Merritt

Missy Elliott during the 2005 MTV VMA Missy Elliott party at Lyric Theater in Miami, Florida. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

14
ROBERT SULLIVAN

Missy Elliott and Ciara accept the best dance video award at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami. Missy Elliott and Ciara won for their song “Lose Control”. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

15
Scott Gries

Missy Elliott appears onstage at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.